What it’s like to be a South African entrepreneur!

Velly Bosega
3 min readApr 10, 2021

My career in publishing began in 2006, as a sales consultant for Media24. South Africa’s leading media company with interests in digital media and services, newspapers, magazines, book publishing, print, and distribution. It wasn’t anything I had studied towards, but it was my stepping stone into the world of publishing and in 2008 following my path into the digital sphere where I started as a Sales Executive at Mybroadband.

I have always been curious, hungry for knowledge and the limitless bounds of the digital advertising world fascinated me. As my passion for digital advertising grew, I made the conscious decision to work for a variety of digital companies and publishers to learn more about the approach to all aspects of their businesses and quickly saw a gap in the South African market for a local advertising network. I started reading as many overseas articles as I could and that’s how my 5-year journey towards launching my own company, Adclick Africa, began.

At the time, I had just gotten married and expecting our first child…

It was a whirlwind!

Launching a new business for the first time

In just one year of starting out as a digital advertising agency, we acquired the SME South Africa publication and founded Africa’s first Premium Ad Network. Little did I know that by 2014 Adclick Africa would be the largest publisher network in Africa! My small team grew to three times its size.

In 2015 we were the first to introduce video and rich media ad formats. A game-changer in a space where brands compete to capture the online audience. A year later we were doing it again, bringing groundbreaking data retargeting technology into the country. 2017, Adclick launched the largest Free Wi-Fi ad network in Africa. And we didn’t stop there, amidst COVID-19 times in Sept 2020 we brought a B2B service marketplace, Serv.co.za to life.

Now, this isn’t a company sales pitch, but rather a tale of how always looking for the gaps to meet the needs of suppliers and consumers, while driving demand, was a winning formula to growing my very own SMME. I had to have patience while I learned from experts around me. My journey could have been a lot quicker, with fewer costly mistakes, if I could have reached out to people who knew how to put together a concise business plan and help me execute it.

The reason for walking you through my journey is, I had a vision…

Despite the many challenges and learning curves from starting up companies or taking a chance on opportunities, I built a seven-figure turnover company. I know the struggles of any SMME in South Africa because I have been through it. You have an idea and launch yourself into it. You don’t realise the importance of having key measurements in place to obtain your goal. Sometimes you don’t have a set goal written down with the steps you need to take to obtain it. Or knowing the risks of hiring and growing too quickly.

My journey could have been quicker if I had a network of experts around me. Networking with thought leaders to learn every aspect of business that you don’t necessarily know. A company is built with multiple experts and leaders for a reason. Each specialises in their field. The value lies in knowing how to collaborate with your teams and bringing in an outsiders’ perspective.

That is why I am bringing one of the first virtual, on-demand business consulting platforms to South Africa. Startwise provides an online communication platform where SMME owners can connect with industry experts, taking their business to the next level and stimulating the economy once again.

If you would like to join forces with me, consult SMME owners in times that are convenient for you, and set your own hourly consultation fees I would like to introduce you to the Startwise platform and strengthen our network!